Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Second Renaissance

Technology developed by NASA is about to make a hoard of ancient papyri from Egypt readable - including lost works by Euripides, Sophocles, Hesiod, and others.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia.

Expect the wingers to freak out any second, however. It's already known that the hoard, found in an ancient garbage dump at Oxyrynchus, contains documents from early Christianity. Writings later found to be part of the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas were found there, and the scientists expect to find more. There are known lost Gospels, lost letters of Paul, and other writings that could pour vivid new light on the world of the New Testament if they're among the newly decipherable papyri.

And we know how today's right wing "Christians" hate that (via).


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